Letter: Reader likes the unity of the National Anthem at sporting events

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To the editor:

When I go to sporting events, it always fills me with pride to see everyone standing up and facing the flag with their hand over their heart. It is a powerful sight to see—so many different people from all different backgrounds all respecting the flag. All have pride and respect in the flag, and by extension what it stood for, the country.

To me, that says no matter what the challenges we face in our daily lives, the bills, the racism, the haters, whatever…we all are united by our country. We are all Americans. To me that says when the going gets tough, you will have my back—like we all had everyone’s back during 9/11. That is a powerful sight. That is a powerful message. For me that is one of the most powerful symbols of unity I’ll ever see.

When I see what’s going on today, it just makes me sad. Now, some people stand, sit, kneel or don’t even show up. No longer am I impressed by the unity. No longer does the sight fill me with pride. I don’t see love or respect. Instead, I see division. I see people letting the daily challenges divide us. The racists the haters, the bigots and the naysayers are winning and tearing us apart as a country.

Don’t misunderstand, I don’t blame or fault the people kneeling for this division. They are not the cause, they are a symptom of it. Rather I think the problem is the divisive voices we hear day in and day out that make people like Colin Kaepernick, and all the others, lose hope in what this country stand for. I think it’s a result of the constant character assassination this country has been getting for what seems like at least a decade now.

People standing for the national anthem at sporting events is one the most unifying symbolic gestures I’ll ever see. It was one of the only places we could see unity in our everyday life. Masses of ordinary, people from every background imaginable all saying “I have your back” is now becoming a thing of the past.

Now, what is left that evokes the same emotion? What was once the biggest symbol of unity is becoming a symbol of our division.

Kolin Claywell, Southington

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